147332 3/26/2008 14:16 08ANKARA567 Embassy Ankara CONFIDENTIAL VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHAK #0567/01 0861416 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 261416Z MAR 08 FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5692 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA// RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 000567
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/21/2018 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NATO, TU SUBJECT: TURKEY/NATO: TURKEY AND OUR BUCHAREST SUMMIT PRIORITIES
Classified By: Ambassador Ross Wilson. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Summary: Turkey broadly supports USG priorities for the NATO Summit in Bucharest. MFA and Turkish General Staff (TGS) contacts told us Turkey: -- continues to make significant contributions to Afghanistan and may be open to additional contributions to ISAF; -- does not oppose on-the-ground consultations among NATO, EU, and UN missions to ensure success in Kosovo; -- supports invitations to all three NATO aspirants (Albania, Croatia, Macedonia); -- backs Intensified Dialogue for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro; -- welcomes greater cooperation with contact countries; -- does not oppose MAP for Georgia and Ukraine if Allies reach consensus; -- supports the U.S.-led approach with Russia on CFE, but will fight to preserve flank limits; -- agrees with thinking behind the Comprehensive Approach, but resists tying it to NATO-EU issues; and -- supports NATO work on missile defense, as long as the principle of "indivisibility of security" is upheld. End Summary
Afghanistan: Doing Its Share, May Consider More
2. (C) TGS J-5 Director for NATO Policy Major General Mehmet Cetin reviewed for us on March 24 Turkey's extensive contributions to ISAF, including its leadership of ISAF II and VII, command of RC Capital from April to December 2007, and maintenance of over 700 troops and a PRT in Afghanistan. He informed us Turkey plans to send an additional 250 to 300 troops to ISAF headquarters in Kabul in March or April of this year and is offering "one and a half" Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) to the Kabul region (the "half" refers to three Turkish officers slated to join a Kabul-based U.S. OMLT later this year). MFA South Asia desk officer Ilhan Sener told us Turkey is prepared to respond positively to Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta's request for additional training for Afghan security forces. Turkey is considering both training in Turkey as well as opening a military training facility in Afghanistan.
3. (C) Cetin acknowledged some discussion in NATO on backfilling French and Italian troops in RC Capital should they redeploy to the south and west, respectively. He said Turkey has no official position on the matter since, to his knowledge, there has been no official request to provide a backfill. Cetin assessed that Turkey alone would not be able to backfill both the French and the Italians, but one scenario could be to work with the Afghans to provide sufficient forces in RC Capital should French and Italian forces redeploy.
4. (C) Cetin confirmed that Turkish CHOD General Buyukanit's widely-reported statement that Turkey would send no more Turkish troops to Afghanistan simply meant that Turkey would not let its troops be used in counter-insurgency operations there. Cetin argued that COIN and counter-terrorism operations are not in ISAF's Operations Plan or mandate. He confirmed that Buyukanit's statement does not rule out Turkey sending additional forces in a role that is consistent with ISAF's mandate, but noted that Turkey has over 100,000 troops currently deployed to fight PKK terrorists in southeastern Turkey and has already done more than most Allies in ISAF. Cetin added that the TGS currently is not considering reducing Turkish national caveats on its ISAF forces.
Balkans: Anchoring to Euro-Atlantic Institutions
5. (C) Anchoring all the Balkan countries in Euro-Atlantic institutions remains a strategic priority for Turkey, according to MFA NATO Policy Department Head Gulhan Ulutekin. She anticipates President Gul will underscore at Bucharest the importance of issuing membership invitations to the Adriatic Three (Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia), and extending Intensified Dialogue to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, while trying to ensure the Alliance does not allow Serbia to isolate itself from the rest of Europe. She dismissed rumors that Turkey would block invitations for
Croatia and Albania if Greece were to block Macedonia's invitation over the name dispute. Gulhan said Turkey's position on enlargement remains clear: all three countries should be invited at Bucharest.
Kosovo: Common Interest in Success
6. (C) MFA NATO Operations Department Head Ayda Unlu told us Turkey wants to ensure Kosovo is stable and successful. As a result, despite frustrations with EU failure to properly consult with Turkey or NATO on its civilian policing mission, Foreign Minister Babacan made clear on March 6 that Turkey will not oppose on-the-ground coordination necessary to ensure the success of the EULEX mission in Kosovo. TGS's MG Cetin confirmed Turkey supports on-the-ground coordination among the various international actors in Kosovo but cautioned that the absence of an overarching political framework between NATO and the EU on Kosovo remains problematic. Cetin acknowledged there are different interpretations of the Agreed Framework on NATO-EU cooperation, but asserted the Agreed Framework and "Berlin Plus" should apply in the case of Kosovo since the EU is asking for NATO's military support, albeit for a civilian operation. Georgia/Ukraine: Following the Crowd
7. (C) Supportive of the integration of Georgia and Ukraine into Euroatlantic institutions, including NATO, Turkey will be ready to join consensus when one emerges on beginning the Membership Action Plan (MAP) process for the two countries. Ulutekin considered it extremely unlikely that Allies will reach consensus by Bucharest on offering MAP to Ukraine and Georgia, and said she found some of the concerns expressed by other Allies during the March 6 Foreign Ministers meeting, especially with respect to Georgia, to be valid. However, Turkey agrees with Secretary Rice's overall assessment on March 6 that "it is not a matter of whether but when" NATO would extend MAP to Georgia and Ukraine.
Russia/CFE: Protect Our Flank
8. (C) Turkey welcomes and supports USG initiatives to engage Russia in order to preserve the CFE, but will not agree to the elimination of the flank regime as the price for Russian agreement to reverse its suspension of CFE implementation. MFA Deputy Director General for Disarmament and Nonproliferation Ahmet Gun stressed that, while he is supportive of a statement before Bucharest highlighting NATO's effort to address Russian concerns with respect to CFE, Turkey will not be able to agree to language specifically identifying the flank regime as an area that will be subject to review once the adapted CFE treaty is in force. Gun emphasized that the Turkish parliament will not ratify the A/CFE if the result is elimination of the flank regime. The Alliance has demonstrated plenty of flexibility; Russia needs to make a case for why the elimination of the flank is necessary and so far has not done so. Gun warned against NATO showing further willingness to accommodate Russia's "salami slicing" tactics.
Comprehensive Approach: Against Tying to NATO-EU Relations
9. (C) While agreeing with the need for a Comprehensive Approach (CA) to crisis management, Turkey finds efforts on the part of some Allies to define CA within the narrow context of NATO-EU cooperation as inappropriate and troubling. MFA's Unlu stressed that Turkey views CA as a broader concept that goes well beyond NATO-EU relations, and would not want to see summit communique language emphasizing CA in the context of NATO-EU relations. If other allies insist on highlighting NATO-EU relations in the communique language addressing CA, Unlu said Turkey will insist on the inclusion of language recalling the "Agreed Framework" on NATO-EU cooperation in the same paragraph. More broadly, Unlu asked for US support to prevent some Allies from trying to use the summit communique to "settle scores" on the NATO-EU relations dispute. Unlu said such efforts would be counterproductive and will be vigorously opposed by Turkey.
Missile Defense: Must be Indivisible
10. (C) MFA NATO Department's expert on missile defense Barkan Kuloglu said Turkey remains supportive of NATO work on missile defense and recognizes the need to coordinate national and NATO driven approaches on missile defense. Turkey is "prepared to be helpful" in support of US objectives related to missile defense in Bucharest as long as the core principle of "indivisibility of security" is maintained. This principle is "sacrosanct" for Turkey. He expressed disappointment that "some Allies" did not support Turkey's request to include a reference to this principle in the missile defense section of the December Foreign Ministers' communique. Kuloglu also noted that if there is to be a "NATO Missile Defense System," it must, in one way or another, cover all Allies. Without offering specifics, he described some proposals being developed in NATO's Conference of Armaments Directors (CNAD) as "constructive, creative, and deserving of consideration."
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